Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) may be in trouble, but he isn’t running away. The Florida Republican is reportedly under investigation for transporting a 17-year-old girl across state lines to have sex. That news led to allegations he has shown nude photos of his purported sex partners to colleagues on the floor of the House of Representatives — behavior that may not be illegal but (if true) is certainly dishonorable, gross, and wrong. Predictably, there have been calls for Gaetz to resign. Just as predictably, he has dismissed those demands.

Why would he quit?

The last few years have taught us that public officials in America can power through just about any revelations of impropriety simply by refusing to go away — and that it is even possible to reach new heights of power after enduring a season of humiliation. Donald Trump became president after he was caught on video bragging about sexual assault and stayed in office for four years despite allegations from a number of women. Bill Clinton survived impeachment after getting caught lying about his affair in the Oval Office and left office with extraordinarily high approval ratings. Similarly, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is betting that he can similarly survive mounting allegations of sexual harassment. He may not be wrong.

Sex scandals have been part and parcel of America’s political culture, going all the way back to the Founders. Usually, getting caught meant the end of one’s political career. Andrew Hamilton’s days in service came to a close when his affair with Maria Reynolds became public. Similarly, Gary Hart’s presidential ambitions foundered in 1987 when Donna Rice sat on his lap aboard the aptly named Monkey Business. New York Rep. Andrew Weiner resigned his seat after …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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